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Kentucky Route Zero

Developer / Publisher: Cardboard Computer
07 January 2013
Kentucky Route Zero - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.96 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
368 Ratings / 5 Reviews
#202 All-time
#2 for 2013
Conway, a truck driver for an antiques shop, is tasked with making a delivery to an address he doesn't know. In his search for it, he discovers a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky, and meets the mysterious folks who dwell on it.
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Title
southern gothic and magical realism meets point and click adventure
This is one of my personal favorite games of all time. The creators, Cardboard Computer, worked on this game in an Act structure for nearly a decade. the experience of playing this game is other worldly to me, and contains a wonderfully dense, and beautifully dark and magically surreal narrative. This is less of a game that you "play" and more of one that you experience as an encounter. I know that sounds pretentious, but through a point-and-click interface this game treads the line between game and novel, through a medium that only video games can offer. I highly recommend this for people who are fans of southern gothic novels like those of Faulkner, O'Conner, and others. KR0 contains some of the most beautifully constructed and emotionally resonant moments I've ever experienced in a video game. At times KR0 feels like theatre performance, art installation, and lo-fi and low attended basement music show. There is something so alluring to this game that It's hard to explain the narrative without forcing meaning to those who have not played it. I highly encourage those that are looking for something more emotionally involved, thought-provoking and surreal to give this game a try.
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zazen27 2022-02-11T01:31:56Z
2022-02-11T01:31:56Z
5.0
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[PL] Obywatel Kane z całym ciężarem tego porównania. Literacka perła o więziach w czasach kryzysu i hauntologiczne spojrzenie na peryferyjną Amerikanę. Meandruje.
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Szugob 2021-12-19T17:21:21Z
2021-12-19T17:21:21Z
8.5
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This is a wonderful game that truly isn't for everyone. It isn't concerned with having to tell a large definitive beginning-and-end story. It would rather present scenes and characters and experiences that are interesting to read and watch. There isn't any handholding you to the point of the game, in fact there isn't really any one main point. But instead lots of little points that build an atmosphere and tell you stories that will hopefully stick with you. I loved this game. I don't know that I will ever play it again, but that's because it wouldn't really offer me anything. I have already experienced the characters and settings and stories. To do so again wouldn't change the experience I had with it.

Anyways, if you enjoy a slower paced story and enjoy a little bit more experimental storytelling, you might like Kentucky Route Zero. If you need your stories to have satisfying and explosive endings and twists, this might not be for you.
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Shlomotion 2021-10-21T15:44:51Z
2021-10-21T15:44:51Z
4.5
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One of those games that people like to mention as their favorite so that they can feel smarter than anyone else. It’s great that there are still video games that try to do something different and experiment with storytelling, but I can’t imagine anyone with a decent background in art and literature being blown away by this mediocre theatre script dressed up as a point and click. It would have been much more convincing as an art piece if the developers actually cared to work on the presentation. What’s the point of developing a game if 80% of the events are only described by walls of text without any visual support? The eerie atmosphere and surreal visions along the way are truly captivating, but unfortunately, constitute a very small portion of the game.
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manicure 2021-09-18T07:21:16Z
2021-09-18T07:21:16Z
58
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100% complete campaign
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Kentucky Route Zero is in one way a collection of stories intertwined between ghostly caricatures of the past, complicated stressed and living individuals, and government and environmental factors that work in such mysterious and incomprehensible ways to the denizens living underneath and on it that they might as well be supernatural, and which they are shown as within the entire work.
Every Act has interesting messages to tell, and lives to reflect on and shed a tear with. By the time everyone comes together to mourn the end of the journey, each person is fleshed out further than the featureless faces that adorn them would suggest. The game touches on several aspects of a decaying shifting void that is midwest America, whether that be the brainwashing ghastly denizens of corporations that push people into the neverending spiral debt hole they craft, or the old denizens on the high mountain scattered long after their nature project failed with an attachment to a dingy computer program that sounds constant static. There isn't really a single piece in here that feels without purpose or really in the wrong space at all. It is dense, certainly a less explicit piece than most, and a large amount of factors that make up the whole are something that it intentionally encourages you to research on your own. Each dialogue in their own points to several meta and thematic factors that don't just have to do with the characters at the receiving end of each line.
The visuals and music are just as thematically placed, each a perfect painting and screenshot in of itself. A lot of work was put into matching the perspective of the characters and where the camera is placed. A few specific examples that stand out to me is the revolving passage of time in Act 5, as a cat hearing everyone mourn and discuss where they're going, or the overbearing perspective when you move about the Hard Times. Or my favorite part, The Entertainment, as you bounce between each painfully depressing line.
I won't claim to understand all of what I saw as I played through the game, and honestly there are a lot of things that are too subtle for me to catch on, or maybe I'm just not in tuned enough to just get it. But that's fine. It's still a masterpiece of the medium, something I wish to see considered in high regard for the recognizable future. I hope it inspires people as much as it teaches me on aspects of life I've never been a part of or could directly relate to. It's a perfect encapsulation of what it sets out, and I was very emotionally invested. I highly recommend getting Kentucky Route Zero.
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QuilDewIvy 2021-05-13T00:16:01Z
2021-05-13T00:16:01Z
5.0
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The ghosts of a buried generation, destroyed by exploitative corporations and financial enslavement and nature itself, captured by technology that functionally no longer exists and no one cares to preserve - no one but the artists and historians, anyway, whose indirect relationship with the people and the artefacts can only ever result in a muddy translation (of a translation of a translation of a...). Video game, yes - don't for a second think otherwise - but also poetry, play, concert, film, art installation; there's a reverence here for how art is the only thing really preserving these ghosts outside of the confines of their dying community. Its role as a video game comes from how, as a player, you feel like you're engaging in the creative process, moreso than even a Telltale visual novel, because while you're building characters in The Walking Dead, you're working with words in Kentucky Route Zero. It feels more often like you're the one doing the writing, building themes and perspectives with a pen in your hands, even if the whole thing is scripted out.

I can't do a worthy analysis here, not in a short time frame and certainly not without exerting more effort than I'm willing to do as a hobby. (In fact, I've yet to see a really profound essay about this - I suppose such a thing would be book-length, but it kills me how each piece has to take time to tell you This Isn't Like Other Games. Still, there's some good stuff in Karen Han's interview with the game's creators and Laura Hudson's review.) But these acts already feel ground into my body's frame, and I want to know and understand the game's every layer, regardless of how long it takes; there's so much here that even parsing through one act could take forever. I actually wish that I hadn't waited until the release of the final act to get around to it; the long release cycle of each act - seven years for the whole thing - had the effect that you could spend more time with each, and I wish that I had. (I knew about it from the beginning!) That said, the interludes added to the complete edition are highlights on their own, sections willing to deviate complete from what the rest of the game is doing that allows them to give a more tactile connection with the game's ideas and build upon scenes and settings that deserved more life.

Even though I feel like I've only gotten to a cursory understanding of the game, I still feel like I've played something that's hit a sweetspot of craft that nothing ever has reached or will reach again. Descriptions of this game can make it sound unbearably highbrow, and you can easily fall deep into an academic reading of it - but it's also easy to just let it wash over you, drawn in by the small moments, the personal stories, the haunting (incredible, all-time great) music, the uncanny visuals. I just know there's a world of people out there who'd like this - both gamers and non-gamers - who haven't even considered it.
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Azdiff 2021-02-22T16:28:43Z
2021-02-22T16:28:43Z
5.0
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Catalog

oakmin Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-29T03:26:05Z
2022-09-29T03:26:05Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Robo1662 Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-27T19:43:39Z
2022-09-27T19:43:39Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
likefigureskating Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-24T15:48:49Z
2022-09-24T15:48:49Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bravesirloin Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-20T22:11:57Z
2022-09-20T22:11:57Z
8.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Carletonx Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-19T11:11:08Z
2022-09-19T11:11:08Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kamui_Malokeiro Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-16T10:04:14Z
PS4
2022-09-16T10:04:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kamui_Malokeiro Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-16T10:01:55Z
2022-09-16T10:01:55Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
synden Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-15T14:14:00Z
2022-09-15T14:14:00Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
the_grAyLIEN Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-12T14:55:01Z
Xbox One / Windows
2022-09-12T14:55:01Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
heresmahhi Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-08T13:30:14Z
2022-09-08T13:30:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jakkos Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-07T16:57:29Z
2022-09-07T16:57:29Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Morgenholt Kentucky Route Zero 2022-09-07T05:49:18Z
2022-09-07T05:49:18Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (25) Loading...
  • Lepton 2021-10-04 02:59:20.79716+00
    Un Pueblo de Nada is fucking amazing holy shit.
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  • blue_skies 2021-10-28 12:35:55.295832+00
    I love the aesthetic of this game a lot, but the gameplay is absolutely tedious to me. I'd like to see this as a TV series
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  • ThePsuedo 2022-01-17 21:28:19.427624+00
    Miss when this was the number one point and click game
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  • Xantha_Page 2022-03-19 22:01:55.801363+00
    Removed by user
    This post was removed by the user.
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  • lilyonthewater 2022-07-07 23:28:52.226036+00
    i wish more games were like this
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